“Writer’s often write their best when they are feeling their worst.” –Susan Cheever
It has been mentioned to me, tenderly, and with much love behind the concern, that my writing may be a little too, well, frank, leaving readers to perhaps worry about my well-being. Let me say, I am beyond blessed to have so many people in my life who care about me, and want me to be “happy.” But as the wise Kahil Gibran once said, “The deeper that sorrow carves into your being, the more joy you can contain.” I am, like any other, at times full of joy, and at others melancholy. This is the gift of life. No need for concern. In fact, it is the person who cannot embrace their sorrow, who keeps it locked away, stored in places only to manifest as life threatening diseases, who warrant concern. I am an artist, I will always dance on the edge of extremes. I will always love deeper, and cry harder. I will always show the world my highs and lows. This is who I am.
Secondly, I would like to talk about why I write. When I was in the first stages of sobriety, I consumed recovery memoirs. These courageous writers who told the world their story (Susan Cheever and Caroline Knapp, to name a few) saved my life. Through hearing of another’s pain, through their story, I was not left alone to navigate the rough seas of early recovery on my own. I am sure when they published their memoirs there were a lot of people who were concerned about them, about what other people would think, about being so…honest, but they did it anyway because they knew their story needed to be heard by people like me.
I write not only to purge, to be set free, in a way only the truth can do, but to heal myself and others. Sure, it would be easier to leave my darkest essays for only the inside of my journal to see, but then who would I help? Me? Potentially, but in this life, I am not out to help only myself, anymore. I am here for a greater purpose, and if I can help another through my writing, if I can provoke a thought, or cause another soul to question their choices, or to hear my voice and want to change, then I have not risked looking foolish, or “unhappy,” for nothing. Of course, I am still searching, aren’t we all? And if not, then why.
I love you all from the bottom of my heart. How blessed I am!